I was incredibly excited and flattered to be asked to participate in Anna Maria's Handmade Beginnings: 24 Sewing Projects to Welcome Baby blog tour. There may, just possibly, have been skipping down the hallway. In addition to this review there is of course the book to be given away, and there will hopefully be a Q & A with Anna at some point (Quilt Market has kind of gotten in the way of that a bit).
I have her previous book Seams to Me and it's a tough act to follow, but when Handmade Beginnings arrived I wasn't disappointed! Now I have to admit that the fact it was a book about sewing for babies didn't thrill me to bits as I've unfortunately done my dash in that regard (having babies that is!) so I wasn't sure how I'd feel about it all. But!
So here are some of my favourite projects. Let's start off with the baby stuff:
These booties are so adorable. In order to be a good blog tour host I had planned to make a pair for my new nephew and show them off here. I cut everything out on Sunday and ironed the outer fabric pieces before I started sewing. I took the ironed pieces and...well I put them somewhere and I haven't been able to find them! Literally 5 minutes later I was searching around and it's 2 days later and they still haven't shown up. And yes, I've checked the fridge and rubbish! After waiting a couple days to see if they turned up somewhere incredibly stupid I recut the pieces and started sewing this afternoon. So far so good and I'll get pics up as soon as I can. Anyone want to take bets on where I put those bits of fabric? Ummm yeah, so really cute booties and I love the way they're constructed, a bit out of the ordinary way of these things.
Everyone's been showing this jacket photo and it's not surprising considering how cute that wee boy is! I'd like to try making it for either my niece or nephew but need to do some measuring.
These pants are super-cute as well, I like the way you can mix and match fabrics to your heart's content or just go one colour each side and still get that flash of the other side on the cuffs.
One thing I really noticed when Hazel was born was how easily Mat got sidelined if we didn't pay attention to him being actively involved. Now I'm not saying he would have actually used a Dad Bag if I'd made one but I think chances are he might have (he does love his 'European Man's Carry-all') and it would have made him feel pretty pro while he was at it.
Now this is one of those neat pre- and post-baby items that I love
Lovely maternity dress or top (it does both). I like the clean lines and the fabric looks great. But you say you're not planning on being pregnant any time soon? Well look at this!
A non-maternity version (also good for bfing on the fly) and I'm looking forward to making it. Check out Meg's version over at Sew Liberated.
I love some of the little toys too, the stacking boxes are particularly cute
although the first thing Hazel asked when she saw that photo was if I could make her the dog and I had to tell her that the pattern wasn't in the book. There was some displeasure expressed at that.
There are also toys for the older children like this swaddled doll that comes with nappies
Although there are lovely quilts in this book (see other blogs on the tour for reviews of those) I actually like the simplicity of the little mini-quilt that comes with this project, particularly done up in those gorgeously lush fabrics.
The Daydreams mobile would look lovely in any room, or just the shade on its own
I also loved these embroidered letters, they lend themselves to so many uses and spots in the house
The detail on the B is wonderful
Thanks to the lovely people at Wiley Publishing (and they really are lovely!) I have a copy of Handmade Beginnings to give away. I'm going to limit it to New Zealand and Australian residents only for oh, a variety of reasons, but the rest of the world won't be left out as there's lots of copies to be had from earlier stops on the tour. US residents can enter into the sweeps for a really great prize: a Singer Confidence 7470 sewing machine, 5 yards of Anna Maria Horner fabric, and a copy of the book Handmade Beginnings: 24 Sewing Projects to Welcome Baby. Between sweeps like that and Anthropologie, you guys really do make the rest of the world want to emmigrate sometimes.
If you'd like to enter to win a copy of the book all you need to do is leave a comment below and make sure you put your email into either the Disqus form or in the body of the comment. I will use the random entry picker commonly known as Hazel to choose the winner from a hat on Monday 31st at 3pm NZ time, when she gets back from créche. She's been asking me when she'll be able to do that again for ages!
For more reviews check out the other participants on the blog tour.
May 3 Craft
May 4 Indie Fixx
May 5 Sew Mama Sew
May 6 Pink Chalk Studio
May 10 Wise Craft
May 14 House on Hill Road
May 16 The Purl Bee
May 18 All Buttoned Up
May 19 Alabama Chanin Journal
May 20 Homemade by Jill
May 21 True Up
May 22 Oh, Fransson!
May 23 Prudent Baby
May 24 Sew Liberated
May 25 Handmade by Alissa
May 26 Hazelnuts
May 27 Petite Purls